• Financial taps run dry at St Mary’s Home for Aged Mothers in Kirinyaga.
• They rely on well-wishers to care for the elderly women.
The financial taps at St Mary’s Home for Aged Mothers in Kirinyaga are drying up by the day. The number of well-wishers is getting smaller by the day.
The management can hardly meet the cost of maintaining and treating the more than 40 grandmothers.
St Mary’s takes care of grannies rescued from various parts of the country.
The Consolata Sisters-run (Catholic Church) organisation was started in 1974. Its chairman, Joseph Muhoro, and sister in charge Rosalin Thalakatture, said they are increasingly finding it a near impossible job to pay for drugs and staff salaries.
“The mothers, some of whom who are over 100 years, and who were rescued from different parts of the country, have various sicknesses, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, mental complications. Others are disabled, deaf and dump," Muhoro said.
They rely on well-wishers to care for the elderly women. The source of financing has been shrinking for quite a while. They lack of a vehicle to ferry them to hospital and bring items to the institution.
Muhoro said most of them are not beneficiaries of the government’s stipend for the elderly and are not members of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). He appealed to the government to enlist them with the national health insurer.
He at the same time asked philanthropists to come to their aid as they need a lot of support to provide care to the mothers.
Muhoro noted that some of the grannies need counselling, especially those who were rape victims. Others are mentally impaired because of stress, negligence and abandonment by their children.
The chairman was addressing Wanjau Technical and Vocational Training College student who had visited the home. The learners brought assorted goods for the grandmothers. They cleaned the compound and rooms and also washed the elders and provided beauty care to them.
He told the students to always respect, love and take care of their parents for bringing them up and never to neglect them as doing so is immoral.
Thalakatture regretted that some of the grandmothers are never visited by relatives.
Mary Wangondu, a teacher at Wanjau Technical and Vocational Training College whose main campus is in Embu, said their visit was part of their social responsibility programme.
Wangondu said the association of the elderly with the youth make them feel at ease and comfortable. This enabled them to live longer.